When I first started blogging, it was really for me, so I could have a place to vent how I really feel. What is really going on in my thoughts, especially if they were negative thoughts. I spend my days putting on that happy face and assuring people I’m ‘fine’. There ARE people in my life I can be honest with – but sometimes I feel even they must get sick of me when I’m whining constantly and never happy with my lot.
Not that I am never happy – I have so many moments of what I think is happiness – because I’m not sure what happiness IS. My moments are those in which I’m just overwhelmed with gratitude, overcome with the.. amazingness that this world and life can be. When I’m just there, in the moment, with the sun shining and the breeze blowing with trees and green all round, and my cat is happily sunning herself by my side… times like that, I think I know happiness.
Sadly the depression has been a big time downer lately. Sometimes, no matter how good things are, you are so bogged down with the depression that it is like being stuck under a thick blanket. Or on the other side of some invisible force field that cuts you off from joining in. You can see it but you can’t be part of it. You can make a smile or a fake laugh to emulate what others are doing in reaction to whatever situation you are in, but inside you are withered and dead, nothing. Just tired, oh so tired.
I don’t know if the fatigue I’m feeling is a result of the depression, the long term malnutrition and still being under-nourished, or both. It’s the most debilitating thing. Most days I feel like a very, very old woman, I creak, I groan, I moan, I struggle to get out of bed and up from chairs, I walk slowly, hunched over.
At the moment, I just want to sleep. I slept most of Sunday and Monday away. Sleeping for me, is also a form of avoidance. When I’m out to it, I don’t have to face the fact that my life is scary and hard to live. I’ve worked hard to put things into my life, I still feel so behind in terms of doing things. And yet I have felt positive for the first time that I can actually catch up to some degree – I’m on my way to working, finally. I’m on my way to dancing again. I’m about to start another art workshop. I’m getting out and doing more things for enjoyment with friends. Trying so hard.
But there is so much fear. What if I am never free from the eating disorder or the depression? What if I’m this tired and this depressed for the rest of my life? I know that it’s not that ‘bad’ a thing to live with, but when the fatigue and the depression have hold of me, life just isn’t worth living – it’s a torment. It’s a toss up whether the eating disorder or the fatigue/depression are worse. Put them together, and I just don’t have a chance.
And the eating disorder – I often doubt I can beat it. I KNOW it’s possible, and I KNOW I have come a long way – but I also know how easy it is to undo all that hard work and progress in the blink of an eye. Every minute of every day, ED is in my head, picking at me. Yelling and screaming at me. Cajouling and pressuring me. I spend the day in thrall to it – not a happy thrall, but a fearful, overwhelmed thrall. It makes me expand as I walk, every person who happens to walk past me is so tiny and I’m this huge montrosity of a creature, towering over them, my oversized limbs taking up all the space so they have to shrink to pass me. It is a horrible feeling. I am surprised when I get home to find NO chafing rash and that my clothes come off easily, because as I walk, I feel my thighs rubbing together, I feel my arms rubbing my torso, and I feel wobbles as all my bits just… globble along, like globs of fat in shoes. I’m exploding out of my clothes like Violet in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory after she eats the forbidden gum and blows up like a massive blueberry. But it’s all in my mind.
Also in my mind is the constant chant “You need to lose weight. You are SO huge now. TOO huge. ” I find myself looking down at my jeans, the jeans that used to fall off me without a belt, that used to be baggy around my legs but now are tight, skin tight – and it says “You need to lose 20 kilograms!! You are SO much bigger than you used to be. That 20 kilos needs to come off right now!” and I am defeated – because there is NO way I can do that – and NO way that I should do that, if I want to live.
And therein lies the question. DO I want to live?
Most of the time, I say, of course I want to live. Life hasn’t been amazing, yet, it’s been hard and harsh. But I haven’t experienced life without the ED, without the depression, without the struggle. Safe, with nobody hurting me. Financially okay from having a job. Feeling fulfilled from being able to actually contribute. I’ve never experienced that – so I can’t just give up on life as not worth living yet, can I, because I don’t know that it can’t be, in the future. I realise that it does take time to get from here to there.
What scares me is that I will never be able to enjoy life no matter how many of those things are in place for me. I’m scared that the depression will be a lifelong thing that overshadows it all and makes me a miserable person despite everything. I’m scared that I’ll screw up somehow and even though I’m working hard, these things will fall through. Nobody will want to give me a job. I’ll be awful at ballet. I’ll never paint well again. Etc. And that will happen if I give into the ED and lose weight – I will lose the lot. This is why I’m struggling so hard to NOT give in. Because on the one hand – I can’t cope with this weight, can’t cope with living in this fatsuit. On the other, it’s literally life and death. My body can’t cope medically with another relapse, and I can’t cope with seeing my tenaciously established budding dreams smashed down again. It’s not worth it.
Most of all, I’m just so tired. So very, very tired. Weary, exhausted, utterly spent. Life has never not been a struggle, never not been painful, hard, frightening… and I’ve given all I have. I have never given up, no matter how difficult things were. Never. But I’m only human, and I don’t have an endless fountain of strength here. I feel like I ran out a long time ago and have been dragging myself through life on an empty tank. Something needs to change fast, because I can’t keep endlessly fighting for that much longer.
So that is honestly how I feel – without censoring. Writing all this doesn’t mean that I’m going to go through with giving up or giving in to the eating disorder – quite the opposite. It means I’m not holding in how I really feel and instead writing happy, airy-fairy lies about how amazing and oh-so-awesome my life is now compared to ‘back then’. Because it is a lot better in many ways, but in many other ways, it’s a lot harder. I can’t escape from my feelings or fears the way I used to, and I didn’t have to worry about being a failure or my future before, because I didn’t have a future and I was already a failure.
It just helps to get this out, a bit like letting out a breath you have been holding for far too long. I needed some fresh air.
Thank you for reading.
Awesome lolcats courtesy of I can haz cheezeburger